"No Baby" campaign aims to reduce teen pregnancy - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

"No Baby" campaign aims to reduce teen pregnancy

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Memphis organization is set to launch a plan designed to empower girls and reduce teen pregnancy.  The group 'Girls Incorporated' will soon zero-in on the Frayser community, where the teen pregnancy rate has reached shocking proportions.

"The teen pregnancy rate in Frayser is 26 percent," Girls Incorporated's president, Debra Hester, said Friday.

Next week, Hester's group will debut a massive media and educational campaign called 'No Baby!'  The campaign includes a website, NoBaby.org, that tries to give girls the tools need to resist peer pressure to have sex.

"To empower them to learn how to say no," Hester said.

The candid campaign, which was paid for by anonymous donors, will kick off on January 20 with a series of billboards designed to attract attention of its core audience.

"'Can we do it without a condom? No Baby. Can we do it just a little? No Baby.' I mean, the campaign, obviously, is just a series of very bold questions," Hester said.

But a media blitz alone won't change behavior.  At NoBaby.org, teens are notified about educational events, and invited to share their experiences.

Hester presented the program to Memphis City Schools board members Thursday.  Afterwards, Superintendent Kriner Cash pointed out the males' role in this growing problem.

"Too often in Memphis it's not the peer group," he said. "There are older males who are predators on these young females."

Girls Inc. is partnering with LeBonhuer Children's Hospital, which will offer pregnancy prevention programs to boys - the other contributing force in a community problem reaching epidemic proportions.

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